Moortec, UltraSoC partner to enable next-generation “smart” PVT sensors


UltraSoC and Moortec Semiconductor are cooperating on system-on-chip (SoC) monitoring and analytics intellectual property (IP) to enable a new generation of Process, Voltage and Temperature (PVT) sensor sub-systems.

By integrating UltraSoC’s digital monitoring and optimization capabilities, with Moortec’s industry-leading PVT products this enables powerful, chip-wide infrastructure to improve SoC performance and reliability.

Moortec’s PVT sensor sub-systems are widely used thoroughout the industy to allow intelligent control of system clock frequencies and voltage levels within supply domains, by sensing die temperature, logic speed and voltage supply levels while the device is in-service.

UltraSoC’s on-chip monitoring and analytics architecture allows complementary monitoring and analysis in the digital domain, enabling non-intrusive, wire-speed capture and logging of information about the real-world operation of SoCs.

The option of combining these two technologies delivers a new generation of “smart” PVT sensors, with local intelligence, that allows architects to develop more sophisticated control techniques, benefitting from UltraSoC’s embedded analytic and communication capabilities. This collaboration enables ICs to be equipped with advanced features such as built-in preventive maintenance, load balancing to reduce failures and better control of power consumption for longer battery life.

“Too often people believe that SoCs are ideal digital devices, making assumptions about perfect implementations. But in reality they are far more complex physical, quasi-analog, systems,” said Rupert Baines, UltraSoC CEO. “System engineers need to understand the real-world behaviors and Moortec has a unique approach to achieving that with their PVT sensors. We’re delighted that Moortec have chosen UltraSoC’s processing and analytics capabilities. The combination allows architects to dramatically improve the reliability, battery-life and performance of their devices.”

Stephen Crosher, Managing Director of Moortec Semiconductor, commented: “UltraSoC and Moortec have complementary technologies, both of which help development teams to improve the operation of their SoCs. UltraSoC’s semiconductor IP adds intelligence alongside our monitors, enabling real-time alerts, decision making and long-term statistical analysis. The bottom line for SoC designers is better product quality, higher device performance, faster time-to-market and reduced risk.”

Moortec’s on-chip PVT monitoring IP addresses the challenges faced by SoC design teams creating complex ICs at small process geometries, for applications such as personal mobile technology and multi-core server configurations. In this environment, performance can vary significantly from chip-to-chip, and even between different areas on the same device: a phenomenon known as process variability.

Moortec helps to mitigate these effects by gathering information about the chip’s electrical performance, and “tuning” parameters such as power supply voltage and clock speed to produce the optimum combination of power consumption and performance.

UltraSoC’s suite of silicon IP allows designers to create an on-chip infrastructure that non-intrusively monitors the digital aspects of the chip’s behavior – both hardware and software. The engineering team can gain a much more intimate understanding of the often complex interactions between diverse on-chip processor blocks, custom logic, and system software.